Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #173--February 13, 2003


CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:


I. Data:

1. BLS ANNOUNCES CPS CHANGES: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced several changes to the Current Population Survey in a publication titled: "Revisions to the Current Population Survey Effective in January 2003" (.pdf format, 20p.).

2. CENTER FOR HEALTH AGING AND FAMILY STUDIES (CHAFS), PEKING UNIVERSITY: "Determinants of Healthy Longevity in China: A Longitudinal Study." Information about this study, including an English language questionnaire and a data use agreement form (both in .pdf format) can be found at:


II. Reports and articles:

3. CDC _MMWR_ ARTICLE: "Public Health and Aging: Trends in Aging --- United States and Worldwide" (US Centers for Disease Control _Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report_, Vol. 52, No. 6, Feb. 14, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, p. 101-106).



Note: "This issue of _MMWR_ begins a special series on Public Health and Aging that will highlight important health topics associated with older populations and the implications for public health. Reports will examine data about older adult health; discuss the influence of aging on current public health program priorities, program delivery, relevance, and reach; and explore potential strategies for future directions in public health as the population ages. Reports in _MMWR_ (Weekly) will present science-based information on key public health and aging topics. An accompanying _MMWR Recommendations and Reports_ series will discuss public health policy implications of the aging population."

4. GAO--REPORT: "Medicare: Payment for Blood Clotting Factors Exceeds Providers' Acquisition Cost" (General Accounting Office GAO-03-184, January 2003, .pdf format, 19p.).

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports will always be available at:

Search on title or report number.

5. CBO LETTER: "Letter to the Honorable Don Nickles and Jim Nussle regarding rates for Medicare payments to physicians" (US Congressional Budget Office, Feb. 11, 2003, HTML, .pdf, and WordPerfect format, 1p.).


A. "Bush proposes Medicare reform in 'state of the union' address," by Fred Charatan (_British Medical Journal_ News Extra, Vol. 326, No. 7384, Feb. 8, 2003, p. 304).

B. "Making decisions about hormone replacement therapy," by Janice Rymer, Ruth Wilson, and Karen Ballard (_British Medical Journal_ Clinical Review, Vol. 326, No. 7384, Feb. 8, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, p. 322-326).

7. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "A Comparison of Outcomes with Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and Diuretics for Hypertension in the Elderly," by Lindon M.H. Wing, Christopher M. Reid, Philip Ryan, Lawrence J. Beilin, Mark A. Brown, Garry L.R. Jennings, Colin I. Johnston, John J. McNeil, Graham J. Macdonald, John E. Marley, Trefor O. Morgan, and Malcolm J. West (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 348, No. 7, Feb. 13, 2003, p. 583-592).

8. MEDSCAPE ARTICLES: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)" (_Dermatology Nursing_, Vol. 14, No. 6, 2002, via Medscape).

B. "Ventricular Rate Control in the Elderly: Is Digoxin Enough?" by Rodney H. Falk (_The American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology_, Vol. 11, No. 6, 2002, p. 353-356, via Medscape).

9. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT_ ARTICLE: "Tax-free savings for life" (_US News and World Report_, Feb. 17, 2003).

10. AARP _PRIME TIME RADIO_: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, covering Nov. 26, 2002 - Feb. 4, 2003, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Jan. 21, 2003: Why NOT to Repeal the Estate Tax
Jan. 28, 2003: Unmarried to Each Other
Jan. 28, 2003: Brain Health


III. Working Papers:

11. NBER:

A. "Micro-Stimulation of Social Security Reforms in Belgium," by Raphael Desmet, Alain Jousten, Sergio Perelman, and Pierre Pestieau (National Bureau of Economic Research w9494, February 2003, .pdf format, 26p.).


The present paper analyzes the budgetary impact of various Social Security reforms in the Belgian institutional setting. Our approach relies on parameters that were derived in Dellis et alii (2002) using a micro-modeling strategy. Focusing our attention on a hypothetical age cohort, we illustrate the budgetary impact that the reforms considered might have on the budget of the federal government.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

B. "Individual Subjective Survival Curves," by Li Gan, Michael Hurd, and Daniel McFadden (National Bureau of Economic Research w9480, February 2003, .pdf format, 38p.).


Testing life-cycle models and other economic models of saving and consumption at micro level requires knowledge of individuals' subjective beliefs of their mortality risk. Previous studies have shown that individual responses on subjective survival probabilities are generally consistent with life tables. However, survey responses suffer serious problems caused by focal responses of zero and one. This paper suggests using a Bayesian update model that accounts for the problems encountered in focal responses. We also propose models that help us to identify how much each individual deviates from life table in her subjective belief. The resulting individual subjective survival curves have considerable variations and are readily applicable in testing economic models that require individual subjective life expectancies.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

C. "Simulating the Response to Reform of Canada's Income Security Programs," by Michael Baker, Jonathan Gruber, and Kevin Milligan (National Bureau of Economic Research w9455, January 2003, .pdf format, 54p.).


We explore the fiscal implications of reforms to the Canadian retirement income system by decomposing the fiscal effect of reforms into two components. The mechanical effect captures the change in the government's budget assuming no behavioral response to the reform. The second component is the fiscal implication of the behavioral effect, which captures the influence of any induced changes in elderly labor supply on government budgets. We find that the behavioral response can account for up to half of the total impact of reform on government budgets. The behavioral response affects government budgets not only in the retirement income system but also through increased income, payroll, and consumption tax revenue on any induced labor market earnings among the elderly. We show that fully accounting for the behavioral response to reforms can change the cost estimates and distributive impact of retirement income reforms.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

12. WARSAW (POLAND) SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: "Polish Pension Funds, Does The System Work? Cost, Efficiency and Performance Measurement Issues," by Dariusz Stanko (January 2003, .pdf format, 45p.).


This paper is a part of the author's wider research on the current Polish pension fund system. It deals with the system's efficiency from the point of view of the individual fund member. After over three years of functioning, the savings accumulated with the pension funds only slightly exceed the total premiums that have so far been paid. The study shows that the system is not cost effective and that the incentives produced by the fees and the peer- based performance measurement frameworks have a detrimental impact on active investment management. The low net results from the second pillar are also caused partly by the relatively low share of the funded component of the retirement premium. It is shown that considerable cost improvements can be obtained by immediate corrections. However, more fundamental changes in the system are suggested. In particular, the fee structure should be rearranged to create better motivation for active management. To achieve this, the penalty institution of minimal required rate of return should be abandoned. Furthermore, the investment limits should be reconsidered to allow for greater diversification and higher long-run risk to overcome the capacity problem of the local stock market. This study shows that the evaluation of funds should employ an external index to avoid herding and to allow a long-run investment strategy for retirement purposes. Several possible candidates for benchmarks are proposed.

13. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS: "Demography and the Long Run Behavior of the Stock Market," by John Geanakoplos, Michael Magill, and Martine Quinzii (November 2002, .pdf format, 43p.).


IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

14. American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 157, No. 4, Feb. 15, 2003. Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library.

15. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "browse by publication"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "by words in the title" search box and click "search".
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

American Economic Review (Vol. 92, No. 5, 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your organization's library for the availability of this database and this issue.

American Sociological Review (Vol. 67, No. 6, 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your organization's library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Population and Development Review (Vol. 28, No. 4, 2002).

16. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of Feb. 11, 2003:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Feb. 11, 2003:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Feb. 11, 2003:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities/Internship Opportunities:

17. NIH BSR INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: The NIH Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) Program has opportunities available for graduate students to apply for internships this summer. Interns will have the opportunity to learn the fine art of research administration while concurrently learning about cutting-edge research that is being conducted by BSR's grantees. Interested students can apply for "Administrative" positions or"Scientific" positions. If a student would like to work in BSR in Bethesda, MD, the position to apply for is called "Social Science Analyst" and is under the "Administrative" category. Jobs in the "Scientific" category are in the intramural program at the Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore, MD. For more information, including application information, see:

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for Demgraphy
of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706